St Andrew's College (Christchurch) pupils (from left) Charles Reid, Isla Evison and Ellen Black (all 15) celebrate a correct answer in the South Island Brain Bee Challenge at Otago Museum's Hutton Theatre yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
No matter how difficult the questions are, the South Island
Secondary Schools Brain Bee Challenge is no place to lose
Pupils from Christ's College in Christchurch managed to keep
their cool and their synapses firing to finish first in both
the teams and individuals competitions - despite many of the
questions in the final being ''jolly hard''.
Christ's College pupil Matthew Moore was named the South
Island's best brain and will represent the region in the
Australasian Brain Bee Challenge final in Perth, in April
He was one of about 90 year 11 pupils from 19 schools across
the South Island who converged on the University of Otago
yesterday to vie for the honours.
Unfortunately, no Otago schools reached the final of the
teams or individuals events.
In fact, it was a clean sweep for Christchurch, with all
prizes going to schools from the city.
The pupils were questioned on topics such as intelligence,
memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, ageing,
sleep, addiction, Alzheimer's and stroke during the day-long
competition at Otago Museum's Hutton Theatre.
University of Otago anatomy lecturer and event co-ordinator
Dr Ruth Napper said the questions were extremely difficult.
''They test knowledge of everything from the symptoms of
brain diseases to the biochemical aspects of how brain cells
''They are jolly hard questions - there are some very clever
students in the competition this year.''
It was the seventh year the competition had been held, and it
aimed to encourage pupils to take an interest in the human
brain and neuroscience, Dr Napper said.
As well as competing in team and individual challenges, the
competitors attended short lectures from some of Otago's
leading neuroscientists and were taken on tours of
laboratories involved in neuroscience research at the
University of Otago.
If Matthew did well in the Australasian final, he could
represent Australia and New Zealand at the International
Brain Bee, Dr Napper said.
Results were. -
Teams event: Christ's College (Christchurch), 1;
Riccarton High School (Christchurch), 2; Villa Maria College
Individual event: Matthew Moore (Christ's College), 1;
Rachel Wu (Riccarton High School), 2; Jamin Kim (Riccarton
High School), 3.